Piotr Indyk comments

A few retrospective thoughts about the proposal:

  1. The proposal is definitely short, probably too short. This was reflected in the reviewers’ comments. The research directions outlined in section 2.2 could and probably should have been expanded, from one paragraph to a short section. At the time I believed that “less is more”, but in retrospect I think that expanding the descriptions would have made the proposal more competitive.
  2. On the flip side, I think that short descriptions emphasized the structure of the proposal better. This was probably a good thing. Still, see (1).
  3. The research directions themselves worked out well, I think. There has been substantial progress on all five of them, sometimes due to myself, sometime due to others. Occasionally, the progress occurred in the opposite direction to the one I was hoping for. In particular, my optimism about extending dimensionality reduction techniques to non-Euclidean norms got tempered by strong lower bounds for the l1 norm that were proven within a year. In Polish we say “the direction was right, just the sign was wrong” :)

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